2013 Print Predictions

By general
In Channel
December 28, 2012
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/ SMB Nation

It all started with a HP 901 black printer ink cartridge clone. I purchased it for less than half-price of the official HP printer cartridge to fuel my new HP OfficeJet 4500 in my home office. Unfortunately, the “clone” wasn’t acceptable and I was stuck. Funny how I got busy, forgot to return the clone cartridge and order a “real” cartridge to run my HP OfficeJet 4500 to print out e-mails, documents, etc. Weeks went by without my printing – my behavior changed and I wasn’t even aware of it. I simply read text on my mobile phone, laptop computer and tablet.

I didn’t think about my green-friendly non-printing behavior until my local paper, the Seattle Times, reprinted an article (from the San Jose Mercury News) on HP in mid-December. Titled “Fall in printer sales more bad news for HP” you can read it here. While still a profitable cash cow for HP, the cow has gotten leaner. Ten years ago, printer products represented a whopping 31 percent of HP’s total revenue but that has declined to 20 percent today. The lengthy article lays out the printing landscape that includes overall revenue declining in the industry from $50B to $47B over the five years ending 2014. An interesting factoid I hadn’t thought of: people are printing less photos.

I reached out to industry experts to confirm or deny the printing phenomena laid out above. These responses I received shed light into each company’s performance in light of “the article” and are:

Jackie Paralis, Sr. Marketing Manager, MPS at OKI Data Americas.

  • Through the month of November, OKI Data has experienced YOY (FY12 vs. FY11) growth of 7% within the U.S. market. Reasons for growth:
  • The company has balanced its comprehensive portfolio to target areas of growth including SMB and Specialty Products, most notably Label/Point of Sale devices.
  • The company has also been positioned to take advantage of printing opportunities that have arisen through the proliferation of mobile devices through the MotionPrint initiative. For example, OKI Data has partnered with Lantronix in order to accommodate iOS printing for K-12 and enterprise environments.
  • These strategic moves in addition to offering practical printing solutions including Managed Print Services (Total Managed Print) and vertical specific solutions, have contributed to OKI Data’s growth over the past year. In addition, uncertainty in the current economic climate has accelerated OKI Data’s consumable replenishment opportunities through the consolidation of supplies and hardware.
  • In addition, OKI Data’s primary market is business-to-business which has not been impacted as dramatically as the consumer market. OKI only offers toner-based products and many businesses avoid buying inkjet printers due to the high TCO versus the lower TCO of toner-based printers.

Tom Gall, manager, North American Reseller Sales, Xerox Corporation, reported:

“Print remains a very large and interesting business for Xerox. But like our partners, we can’t live on hardware alone. We are all increasingly driven to services, specifically managed print which is growing dramatically. We’ve made it easy to support mobile workers with several mobile solutions and Xerox is also working outside of the print category as we are now offering IT Cloud Services through partners.”

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